2018-10-05: Constriction

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DG: A party led by Ambrosius is now entering Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
===================<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils *>====================
==============<* CHALLENGE - Do The Whole Serpent Coil Again *>===============
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The Serpent Coils are overrun. Some power here is causing something new to    
 emerge from the dark caverns that lay beneath the dungeon. Demi-human         
 creatures with pig snouts and swords, wobbling, aggressive slimes, armed and  
 armored lizardmen and even the very sand beneath your feet coming alive to    
 grasp you; all these things have populated the halls, formerly occupied by    
 more common Filgaian threats. There is only one real solution to get to the   
 deeper layer quickly: Run past everything in your way like a maniac.          
                                                                               
 The path deeper down is obvious enough, when you find it: A rupture in the    
 Serpent Coils' brickwork, leading down to long caves...and much, much older   
 bricks.                                                                       
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow=====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

A lot of time had passed while everyone was present on Lunar. In this time, many things had changed back on Filgaia. Some of these changes are less evident than others, and have only become clear now after they have had some time to relax after returning home.

One of these changes was in the Serpent's Coil, a ruin concealed within the desert sands. Rumor had it that a crack had opened up, leading into long-lost Ruins.

Ambrosius, of course, was all over that.

It is for that reason that he has requested the aid of some like-minded friends and Yarobeleedt, and when they step into the Serpent's Coils proper, they find a rather sizeable welcoming party waiting for them.

Pig-like demihumans, aggressive slimes...even the sand itself rises up to meet them.

Ambrosius is not deterred. He is not, as a rule, the type of person to go through things quickly. As such, he finds himself wading through the army of foes between himself and his destination, smashing his way through.

Individually they're not worth worrying about, but there are a lot of them. This might take him a while.

DG: Ambrosius has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Do The Whole Serpent Coil Again.
<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

Much as Malfi would like to pick her way gingerly past the orcs and lizardmend and slimes and grabby sand, it's not an option. There are too many, too thickly clustered. She is outnumbered and outmaneuvered. The only thing she can do is rush past -- which is something of a challenge, for she's not fast for her kind. At least she's been able to adjust her vision for extra-low light!

DG: Malfi has used her Tool Blackest Coffee toward her party's challenge, Do The Whole Serpent Coil Again.
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

        Yarobeleedt is at last picked to be part of an expedition! It's... an expedition far out from destroying the humans but now that he's back on Ignas, he is closer to glory! First he just has to suffer going through some caves again. Okay. He's pretty sure he can noclip boost through the collision of this part of the wall (what??).
        Yarobeleedt watches from the fringes, and stops mid-rubbing against a wall to try and get through the seams (what) to stop and notice that he's never actually seen these things before in this region. What are they? Do the humans have something to do with this? It's freaky to consider. His path ends up taking him across sandy patches, where a hand reaches up out of the sand to take him...!
        One squeeze later, the hand detests its existence as Yarobeleedt screeches like he's some kind of dog's squeaky toy every time it fights with the basic instinct to grasp and hold, and the utter revulsion of having to do so for something like Yarobeleedt. (Life as a mindless evil construct is hard.)

DG: Yarobeleedt has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward its party's challenge, Do The Whole Serpent Coil Again.
<Pose Tracker> Elvis has posed.

Despite considering his current disposition toward the Metal Demons, Elvis was actually rather fond of hearing from two of them he spent time with on Lunar, when a chance for an expedition came up. One for being so resourceful in times of crisis. The other because, uh... finding out what was wrong with them was always intriguing.

"Wonder how they have been since..." Elvis trails off, before coming in contact with the Metal Demons. He obviously meant since Mother woke up. Word travels fast.

--

Why are there so many creatures in here?!" Elvis shouts, decking another pig-man. These creatures were little threat, but it was like running a marathon. Each thrown fist was more energy wasted, like some sort of clock ticking away.

Theres no way he could go full-bore, he might collapse the pathways. In truth, holding back seems more exhausting to him.

"So there is another area inside here that was hidden away, huh? Well, hidden things are mean't to be found, I say! HAH HAH!" Cackling, Elvis calls uping his ether-like magics to force the sand to stop assailing him.

"We may want to hurry in farther before we waste too much time!" A look to Yarobeleedt. Or teleport?! He's... not quite sure what he just tried to do. It's like his eyes aren't meant to see that. Good thing they are mostly closed all the time.

"So, what have you lot been up to?" he asks, actually making casual conversation while fighting.

This was like another day to him.

DG: Elvis has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Do The Whole Serpent Coil Again.
===================<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils *>====================
==============<* CHALLENGE - Do The Whole Serpent Coil Again *>===============
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The Serpent Coils are overrun. Some power here is causing something new to    
 emerge from the dark caverns that lay beneath the dungeon. Demi-human         
 creatures with pig snouts and swords, wobbling, aggressive slimes, armed and  
 armored lizardmen and even the very sand beneath your feet coming alive to    
 grasp you; all these things have populated the halls, formerly occupied by    
 more common Filgaian threats. There is only one real solution to get to the   
 deeper layer quickly: Run past everything in your way like a maniac.          
                                                                               
 The path deeper down is obvious enough, when you find it: A rupture in the    
 Serpent Coils' brickwork, leading down to long caves...and much, much older   
 bricks.                                                                       
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow=====================================================
==============<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils - Round 1 *>===============
================< Results - Do The Whole Serpent Coil Again >=================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ambrosius                           0 --(20)--> 20                 Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Malfi                               0 --(15)--> 15                 Pass
Blackest Coffee                     2   Agility Effects: Resilient            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yarobeleedt                         0 --(20)--> 20                 Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elvis                               0 --(20)--> 20                 Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Ambrosius                   0 --(10)--> 10                 Fail
Conditions: Slow(2)
Effects: Resilient(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Ambrosius has failed this challenge! The party gained 10 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

"Agreed." Ambrosius replies with a nod toward Elvis. Whether it was hidden away by time or conscious effort, now that it was open it existed to explored. Who knew what secrets might lie in wait, lost to the world?

There's a lot of ground to cover, though, and unfortunately for them, the ground has already been covered - by enemies. There's seriously a lot of them! In the end, it takes them a lot more energy than they might like. For Elvis and Ambrosius, while they might normally be able to take care of this with little trouble, they can't exactly cut loose without worrying about bringing the ruin down on top of them.

As for Yarobeleedt...while the sand rejects him, he finds that he has a different problem.

The slimes.

They congregate around him. They're not aggressive. In fact, they almost seem...downright friendly? As if they think he's one of them?

This might be even more frightening than outright aggressive.

In the end, Malfi's the one who gets through the easiest - with a little boost from her coffee plus the aid of her low-light vision, she's able to get through areas the others might not and slip past enemies that would waste valuable time.

In the end they arrive at a rupture in the brickwork. They're in a variety of conditions, but at the very least they're all in one piece.

"...This must be it..." Ambrosius states, stepping through. "This stone...it is much older than the brickwork before it..."

How curious...

DG: Yarobeleedt has drawn a new Challenge.
========================================<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils *>=========================================
============================================<* CHALLENGE - A Ceramic Tomb *>============================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 This corners of this room are stuffed with, of all things, ceramic pots. The  
 pots are sealed and in fine condition, but unfortunately, one of them is      
 sitting on a switch you need to release in order to get out. Time to wreck    
 some history! When they break, their contents are released: Fist-sized        
 gemstones in a peculiar cut, all of them green or blue. They don't look like  
 they're particularly special gems, so why so many of them...?                 
=Dungeon Conditions: Treasure=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

        Yarobeleedt, for a very short time, becomes Yarobeleedt, Lord of the Unidentified Slimes. They decide to take him further into the stonework where he curses and screeches the entire way. He wriggles out of their... gelatinous gestalt??... and slips down into a lower level.
        Right inside a large ceramic pot, which seems to have been made in such a way that the angular construction renders it impossible for him to get out under his own power.
        The rest enjoy a scenic jaunt through a square room predominantly made of a singular color, with sets of two open-mouthed statues facing either side - one kind always faces east, another kind always faces west. It's fascinating to think about the mythology behind such strange creatures, one looks like a snake of some kind, another a lion. They don't resemble anthing seen above ground, so... who knows.
        A door ahead is sealed shut. It remains shut no matter how much water or sweet science is applied to it. Instead, there's a whole lot of ancient ceramic pots. One of them is wriggling violently to the recurring muffled swear of 'hex.'
        Maybe it is a dangerous boss monster and the door won't open until it is soundly defeated.

DG: Yarobeleedt has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward its party's challenge, A Ceramic Tomb.
<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

Malfi forms her left hand into a mallet and starts smashing pots. She keeps one each of the blue and green gems for later examination. In answer to Elvis's question, she remarks, "I found all my specimens...gone, but it's good to be home." She doesn't say anything about Mother's awakening. She makes sure to take a scan of the two statues. Maybe they match some monsters in her database!

DG: Malfi has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, A Ceramic Tomb.
<Pose Tracker> Elvis has posed.

"Guh..." Elvis lets out, taking a breather upon reaching the lower chambers of this ruin. "You know, if they saw the first twenty fall, you would think they'd stop! They are stubborn..." A few beads of sweat trickle down, before The Professor takes out a swatch of his gloves and wipes his brow.

A bit of a ways past the crack in the walls, and the party found themselves in a chamber where a switch is held down by a random pot made of ceramic. And there were... quite a few of them. "A shame to hear that," Elvis says toward Malfi. Part of him wondered if they were humans or creatures. "Hope you are able to recover some decent specimens."

What did she do with them? Train them, research them? Possibilities are high amongst a contingent that employs someone such as Alhazred.

And somehow Yaro was here first, if the chittering and sweating pot was any indication. It is about at this point he should stop thinking about how he is doing it. The Sentinel dons his gloves and begins to snap pots apart with little effort, starting with the one that is holding a Metal Demon. "I have no idea how you do it..." he comments as he reaches for it.

DG: Elvis has used his Tool PALB-3106 Power Gloves toward his party's challenge, A Ceramic Tomb.
<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

Fortunately, though the exterior was home to all manner of creatures, they're given some time to relax and just make their way through into a simple square room.

"...Faaascinating...there is much...hiiistory here..." Ambrosius murmurs. He...seems rather distracted by the statues, but eventually his attention turns toward one of the various pots littered around.

It happens by accident, really. He picks one up to examine it...but it slips out of his grip suddenly when he turns to look toward the wriggling and hexing pot.

"...Remaaarkable..." He murmurs, looking toward the gemstones that emerged. "Look at this cut...these are not naaaturally formed... Someone must have done this...puuurposefully..."

...He probably won't be of much help here, frankly. He's more interested in collected the pottery than destroying it.

DG: Ambrosius has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, A Ceramic Tomb.
========================================<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils *>=========================================
============================================<* CHALLENGE - A Ceramic Tomb *>============================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 This corners of this room are stuffed with, of all things, ceramic pots. The  
 pots are sealed and in fine condition, but unfortunately, one of them is      
 sitting on a switch you need to release in order to get out. Time to wreck    
 some history! When they break, their contents are released: Fist-sized        
 gemstones in a peculiar cut, all of them green or blue. They don't look like  
 they're particularly special gems, so why so many of them...?                 
=Dungeon Conditions: Treasure=================================================
===================================<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils - Round 2 *>====================================
==============================================< Results - A Ceramic Tomb >==============================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ambrosius                           20 --(0)--> 20                 Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Malfi                               15 --(0)--> 15                 Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yarobeleedt                         20 --(0)--> 20                 Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elvis                               20 --(0)--> 20                 Pass
PALB-3106 Power Gloves              3   Brute   Effects: Fanfare              
-------------------------------------------------------< Party >--------------------------------------------------------
Leader: Ambrosius                   10 --(25)--> 35                Pass
Conditions: Slow(1)|Treasure(1)
Effects: 
===================================================< Dream Chasers >====================================================
DG: The party led by Ambrosius has passed this challenge! The party gained 25 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

"Mr. Garbles, are you in a pot?"

The voice comes out of another pot, not too far over. With a little ripple of movement, someone begins to surface.

It's Neriah, but also... not Neriah. Just the top of her head can be seen from inside the pot - but for some reason she's translucent. The wall can be seen through her eyes, forehead and hair.

"Please do not forget the Garblepot. It is an important pot," she recommends before slowly lowering her ghostly self back into the pot.

<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

        Elvis cuts right to the chase, hefting up the pot and smashing it up against the wall. Yarobeleedt seems to flash iridescent colors for some reason as he hits the wall - reasons that presently escape science! He even seems suspended in time and space during this time of unexplained coloration aberration, accompanying a weird sound (a groan?) not ever heard from him. He lies on the ground, twitching and otherwise being a harmless feature. Elvis will soon discover, through science, that it doesn't take much weight to turn on the switch underneath.
        It's weird! Yarobeleedt in the pot should've set it off. A harsher truth reveals itself: this place is not very accessible to people without feet. :(
        Ambrosius will find these gems come in purely green and blue variations. Green ones are much more numerous. They look identical between one another, down to the tiniest measurement. Their manufacturing process... extraordinary in their consistency. (A red one is promptly horked out of Yarobeleedt's maw, and because of its origin, is probably of no real value to anyone ever again.)
        Malfi's scanner can't give exact matches to any above-ground creatures she'd know of. Just that the statues facing one way are of a serpent, and the other are of a lion. It's a good idea to record them for later.
        Once that switch is pressed, the door opens without ceremony. Rapidly, even, like it were still a functional, well-maintained door for this purpose.
        Yarobeleedt is suddenly on the opposite side of the room where Neriah speaks from. Oh no the boss battle is still on beat him up before he goes into another pot!! (or not)

DG: Elvis has drawn a new Challenge.
===================<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils *>====================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Corrupted Lagoon *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The vast crystalline cavern complex opens up into a tremendous underground    
 lagoon. Once, this place glistened with the enticing purity of underground,   
 unsullied water. Drifters who visited the upper layers of the Serpent Coils   
 may even have caught glimpse of that, on their way out of the caverns. Those  
 times are over.                                                               
                                                                               
 The underground lake now sits thick, pulsing with some foul internal light.   
 This isn't Malevolence, but the taste of it is frustratingly similar, as the  
 thick air swirls with motes of purple light around you. There are a series    
 of platforms that will let you leap from here to another outcropping, which   
 leads down to a deeper floor. Touching the sludge this water has become is    
 not immediately deadly, but it's DEEPLY uncomfortable, and could burn badly   
 if you stay in too long.                                                      
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust==================================================
<Pose Tracker> Elvis has posed.

After smashing that pot, Elvis just... looks at Yaro. He is utterly fascinating in this combination of scientific and horrific ways that are hard to put in to words. "You uh... okay that was weird." There is a loss of punctuation in his statement, oh man, it is starting to affect him, like some sort of second hand Yarobeleedt.

"What was that?!" the man says, looking to the speaking pot, just catching a glimpse of a disappearing shade. "That voice was familiar. DO I KNOW YOU, POT?!" he shouts. "I have never been down here! I don't know you!"

"What did you find there, Ambrosius?" Elvis asks, looking at one of the gems from any other pot not containing Yaro. "I dentical. Huh. Perhaps a tribute to something that desired a specific shape?" he ponders aloud. "A thought for another time," he says, pocketing a green gemstone, and heading for the opened area.

The area leads in to a large chamber, an underground lake of sorts. A domed chamber has ledges above which look as though it could be a high floor, though glimpses show it is probably a section of the ruins that have been scoured. And they are too far up to reach.

However, a path lay beyond, going deeper down. A series of playforms are in the lakewater, sturdy and made of hand-carved stone. Easy, right?

Yeah, no.

A thick presence lingers in the gave, as though one were being watched, oppressed, judged. It looks a deep violet-purple, a cloying cloud like some sort of aggravated incense. Flicks of light play within the seeping smoke, and the waters of the lake glow menacingly with the same color. Pulsing at times, as though alive. Perhaps it is what was watching the party?

"Ew," Elvis states, wrinkling his nose and furrowing his brow. "I.. wouldn't get in that if I were you," he says, pointing at the areas where the platforms met water (or water-like substance). Lines of corrosion lace like sediment on them. "It is corrosive."

A few breaths and some stretching, and the Sentinel starts leaping towards those platforms, toward the other side of the hazard.

DG: Elvis has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Corrupted Lagoon.
<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

Corrosive, Elvis said. The word gives Malfi pause. If there was one thing Metal Demons feared, it was corrosion, decay, the gradual wearing away of one's body. She decides to avoid touching the water (or whatever it was) as much as possible, and avances by cautious, carefully-planned jumps from platform to platform, relieved that her height gives her a big stride when called for. Along the way she scans the lagoon for life-forms, though she suspects the water itself has a consciousness of sorts, and it's watching them. It's creepy! She can't wait to get to the other level she can see a path to here!

DG: Malfi has used her Tool Blackest Coffee toward her party's challenge, Corrupted Lagoon.
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

        Yarobeleedt's already climbing on the cavernous ceiling. There are a lot of sharp, curved, pointy rock bits that make the task difficult even for the likes of him, as he watches the Professor take charge among those whose souls are being weighed down by gravity.
        "Fufufu," Yarobeleedt has a laugh to himself, "the water above is granular!! So granular it is marcoscopically microscopic in scope?" Okay so he's saying there's no water on the ceiling, which makes perfect sense because water doesn't tend to gather on ceilings in the form in which most would be accustomed to.
        Then there's a dripping sound. This is approps of nothing.
        Then there's another drip of this altered water where YArobeleedt's lower body slithers and contorts through the environs of the ceiling, and he yelps as his lower half loses hold of the ceiling. His more solid arm warps and transforms as he tries to jam it further into the ceiling for grip while the less solid arm struggles to do much the same. His elongated blobbier half of his body whirls as he contracts what passes for muscles within the molasses-like morass that is his body out of fear.
        Long story short, if they don't mind touching the guy, he is a lifesaver if one is about to fall and need to hang onto something!

DG: Yarobeleedt has used its Tool Clutch Harness toward its party's challenge, Corrupted Lagoon.
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

"Look, just try not to punch me in the face again," Neriah's voice comes from somewhere else. The wall not too far from where Elvis is standing shifts.

The rock itself extrudes itself a little, taking on features like a bas relief of Neriah, enrobed and with her hands folded. "Hello," she says, her voice still holding that peculiar echo. "I'm sorry I couldn't make it. I was consulting a realtor."

Indeed, the wall-figure does not proceed out of the wall, and it's doubtful that she even can. Wall-Neriah looks on with interest, glancing around as if trying to find the source of that watching. (No, it's not her. Not this time, anyway.)

<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

Ambrosius stares at Yarobeleedt momentarily. He isn't sure what to make of the situation, so instead he turns his attention to one of the pots as it...begins to speak in a familiar voice?

"...Miss Neriah..." Ambrosius greets with a polite nod as her ghostly form retreats back into the pot. The Garblepot has already been dealt with, it seems, so that takes care of that.

"Iiindeed, perhaps...I think I shall hold onto them..." Ambrosius replies. He stows them away...and takes one of the pots with him too, somehow.

Past this room is an underground lake. Ambrosius frowns, studying it.

"The air...it feels similar to Maleeevolence...but it is not..." Ambrosius notes with a frown.

He doesn't particularly like the looks of the water, either...and with Elvis's observation of its corrosive qualities, he is even less enthusiastic about it.

Ambrosius very carefully judges the distance between himself and the next platform before taking a cautious leap. The platform...it's a little unsteady. He frowns, and looks toward the Wall Neriah.

"...A reeealtor...?" He asks, then turns back to the task at hand.

...This might be difficult. He might need to make use of Yarobeleedt's (probably unwilling) help.

DG: Ambrosius has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Corrupted Lagoon.
===================<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils *>====================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Corrupted Lagoon *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The vast crystalline cavern complex opens up into a tremendous underground    
 lagoon. Once, this place glistened with the enticing purity of underground,   
 unsullied water. Drifters who visited the upper layers of the Serpent Coils   
 may even have caught glimpse of that, on their way out of the caverns. Those  
 times are over.                                                               
                                                                               
 The underground lake now sits thick, pulsing with some foul internal light.   
 This isn't Malevolence, but the taste of it is frustratingly similar, as the  
 thick air swirls with motes of purple light around you. There are a series    
 of platforms that will let you leap from here to another outcropping, which   
 leads down to a deeper floor. Touching the sludge this water has become is    
 not immediately deadly, but it's DEEPLY uncomfortable, and could burn badly   
 if you stay in too long.                                                      
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust==================================================
==============<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils - Round 3 *>===============
========================< Results - Corrupted Lagoon >========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ambrosius                           20 --(30)--> 50                Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Malfi                               15 --(30)--> 45                Fail
Blackest Coffee                     2   Agility Effects: Resilient            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yarobeleedt                         20 --(15)--> 35                Pass
Clutch Harness                      3   Agility Effects: Rally                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elvis                               20 --(30)--> 50                Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Ambrosius                   35 --(10)--> 45                Fail
Conditions: Exhaust(1)
Effects: Resilient(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Ambrosius has failed this challenge! The party gained 10 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Elvis has posed.

"HEY!" Elvis yells from one of the rocks he has leapt to. "You attack me at the statue, and were going to have one of our most valuable operatives killed on Lunar! I'm not coming after you or anything, but did you think I was just going to stand there-- AHH!"

One of those stone surfaces were slippery, and caused his talking to Neriah to distract him, slipping off almost in to the gunk. It takes a feat of strength to keep himself from falling all the way in, and nearly fracturing a platform into pieces by driving his fists in to them for anchors, but he manages. His boots aren't so lucky, which have parts eaten through them by the time he reaches the other side.

Malfi's crossing is fine and dandy, though a bubble of that substance is rises and pops rapid during one of her jumps, and sprays her with a bit of the substance on her right side! It is already beginning to sizzle, getting that off clothing and armor ASAP is recommended!

As Ambrosius crosses himself, the previous suddenly collapses with no warning, having apparently been eaten away, and the local jostling of the platforms and water was the final straw. Oh no!

HOWEVER, a solution lay dangling nearrby. It would involve a different kind of goop, though not one that would melt one's face off. A dangling Yaro provides a grip with which to swing to the next platform!

Though Ambrosius might elect to take an acid bath instead, reflexes kick in too quickly to make that call!

Yaro found that climbing was quite effective in the domed room, though a sudden weight on his underside would certainly stretch him out to a great degree. On release, the sudden snapback causes hi mto propel around like some sort of goop pinball, before landing daintly on the far side without so much as a screatch! Concussions maybe, but no screatches!

"I hope there isn't more of this farther dorn..." Elvis grumbles. "Already need a new pair of boots now..."

DG: Malfi has drawn a new Challenge.
===================<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils *>====================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - BATS!!!!!!!!! *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Your footfalls resound in this room as you step inside. Your lights shine     
 around the darkness, revealing very little.                                   
                                                                               
 Until, that is, they fall upon the bats. You have several blissful seconds    
 to hope they haven't seen you.                                                
                                                                               
 Then the screaming starts as more bats than are at all reasonable suddenly    
 all decide they hate you at the same time. There's no other choice! You'll    
 have to fight your way through!                                               
=Dungeon Conditions: Fright===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

Malfi gasps as the corrosive liquid burns her. She rinses it off, fast with the only liquid she has available -- her flask of coffee! It burns but takes foul stuff off. Good thing Metal Demons regenerate! She is distracted from her current project by a swarm of attacking bats.

They're not just attacking her...they're after everyone!

Malfi uses her broadsword instead of her lance, doing her best to kill the bats or drive them back, all the while looking for an escape route.

She hopes her companions will fare well against the encroaching winged menaces! And that the bats don't have rabies!

DG: Malfi has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, BATS!!!!!!!!!.
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

"Hi Ambrosius!" says Wall Neriah with a cheery smile. "Yes, I'm looking for a castle. Admittedly I might have to negotiate with the property owners a little."

In Neriah's world, 'negotiate' usually means 'murder.'

By the time Elvis starts shouting at her, wall-Neriah has faded back into the wall. But her voice pops up a little closer to him. "No, you probably had good reason to punch me in the face," she concedes as a tiny spark of reddish light appears near him.

It is a little glowing red butterfly about the size of a hand. Instead of a butterfly body, though, it's a tiny Neriah. "But if it helps any, I don't really hate you. Sometimes people disagree. And, y'know. I need there to be a world to deliver to my god," she explains politely as the bats come screaming in around her.

One of them flutters her way. With a squeak, Neriah flutters away from it. It quickly breaks down into a crisscrossing chase, the bat chasing Neriah back and forth across the cavern.

"eeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"

...

"eeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeee"

<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

       **YAROBELEEDT'S PLAYER NOTES: Did you know that this scene in Dream Chasers MUSH has its own soundtrack listing? It's hard to find, I can't provide a download link. I've managed to put down the lyrics, though, they're good.
 
        DREAM CHASERS MUSH OST DISC ? TRACK ?? - LYRICS...
 

  • squeak*squeak*squeak*squeak*squeak
  • squeak*squeak*squeak*squeak*squeak
  • squeak*squeak*squeak*squeak
  • squeak*squeak
  • squeak*squeak*squeak*squeak
  • squeak*squeak*squeak

 

  • squeak*squeak*squeak
DG: Yarobeleedt has used its Tool Toy Guardian toward its party's challenge, BATS!!!!!!!!!.
<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

"Hmm." Ambrosius considers, as Neriah mentions that she might have to...'negotiate' with the property owners. He doesn't need to guess what that means.

Unfortunately in talking he nearly slips into the 'water' below. He reflexively grabs onto Yarobeleedt and uses him to swing across to safety, though the landing isn't as pleasant as he might have liked.

And when they progress into a darkened room...

They find bats. Ambrosius 'hmm's again as they awaken and turn suddenly aggressive. He reaches into the depths of his poncho, drawing out a metal canister. He flips a switch on his side and tosses it down, where it begins to emit a cool, pleasant, relaxing mist that should hopefully wash away any of that unpleasantness they just went through.

He also takes some of the excess, forming it into a sphere of water in front of him...which he then sends out as a high-pressure beam, raking it across the swarm of bats.

He'd try to help the tiny Neriah, but he doesn't want to accidentally catch her in the beam, too.

DG: Ambrosius has used his Tool Mist Canister toward his party's challenge, BATS!!!!!!!!!.
<Pose Tracker> Elvis has posed.

It isn't long before Elvis kinda wishes they were jumping on more platforms. BATS. Lots of them! "I don't plan to do it any more if it is any consolation," he comments to the little red butterfly. "Unless something like that happens again." A pause. "Your god, eh?" He would say more, but the bats are deafening. She must mean Valmar, as others have mentioned.

He met Neriah on Lunar, so the curious question is, does she mean there, or Filgaia too?

Possibly both...?

A huff, and Elvis begins to just... slap bats out of the air. His hands mvoe so fast the yare difficult to see, but even the nthe bats can sense it coming quite quickly as well.

And then that DAMN SQUEAKING. "NOT THAT!" he says, staring his direction. "Wait, that might work! It could throw the bats off!" For once, that toy could be helpful.

THIS ONCE.

"What made them so angry?!" he yells. "Are they vampire bats?! Don't those want Human blood?"

DG: Elvis has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward his party's challenge, BATS!!!!!!!!!.
===================<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils *>====================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - BATS!!!!!!!!! *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Your footfalls resound in this room as you step inside. Your lights shine     
 around the darkness, revealing very little.                                   
                                                                               
 Until, that is, they fall upon the bats. You have several blissful seconds    
 to hope they haven't seen you.                                                
                                                                               
 Then the screaming starts as more bats than are at all reasonable suddenly    
 all decide they hate you at the same time. There's no other choice! You'll    
 have to fight your way through!                                               
=Dungeon Conditions: Fright===================================================
==============<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils - Round 4 *>===============
=========================< Results - BATS!!!!!!!!! >==========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ambrosius                           50 --(0)--> 50                 Pass
Mist Canister                       1   Combat  Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Malfi                               45 --(0)--> 45                 Pass
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yarobeleedt                         35 --(0)--> 35                 Fail
Toy Guardian                        2   Combat  Effects: Embolden             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elvis                               50 --(0)--> 50                 Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Ambrosius                   45 --(20)--> 65                Pass
Conditions: Fright(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Embolden(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Ambrosius has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

As Elvis tries to hit one of the bats, the Neriah butterfly suddenly zips towards it and points at it.

"HEY"

It doesn't help.

<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

The mist rises, soothing Malfi's burns, and Ambrosius's water beam effectively sweeps the bats backwards. Malfi and Elvis tag-team the straggers, him slapping and her using her sword. Yarobeleedt's squeaky toy seems to confuse them -- maybe it throws off their echolocation? In the end the party manages to drive enough bats away to flee to the next area. Who knows what they'll face there?

DG: Ambrosius has drawn a new Challenge.
===================<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils *>====================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Mobile Miniblins *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 This chamber yawns wide before you, a great dome with ancient, low, stone     
 barricades nd high torches casting light through the gloom. No grates slam    
 in place over the doors, and no clear enemy approaches. That is, until you    
 are in the thick of the tangle of barricades, torch stands and other          
 obstacles, at which point, at a point in the room behind the group where      
 nobody was looking, you hear an impish, clicking giggle.                      
                                                                               
 And when you look there, you see something like two-dozen mouse-toothed       
 goblins with pitchforks, who cackle delightedly and suddenly all scamper      
 toward you with killing intent! How are you with combat in a crowded          
 environment!?                                                                 
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

With the bats defeated, it's much easier to find the way forward. Ambrosius leads everyone forward into the next room, though the sight of it gives him pause. It's shaped like a dome, with ancient stone barricades and high torches providing light.

"Faaascinating...I wonder what...purpose this struuucture served...?" Ambrosius murmurs, looking it over. The barricades are difficult to climb over, though not impossible, making weaving one's way through them the most optimal path through...unless you're a certain someone.

It's about mid-way through, however, that noise becomes evident nearby. It's a sort of chittering, vaguely sounding like a 'nah, neh neh'. This becomes louder, and more numerous, as a bunch of mouse-toothed goblins start scampering over the walls bearing pitchforks!

They're weak individually, but they can climb on the walls, floor, and ceiling blatantly defying gravity to get juuust out of reach, and they even have the gall to cackle at you whenever they get a hit in!

Ambrosius frowns, dodging to the side as one goes in for a lunge.

He doesn't even bother with a beam this time. He gestures with one hand, slapping a few of them away with a tendril formed of water.

DG: Ambrosius has used his Tool Mist Canister toward his party's challenge, Mobile Miniblins.
<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

Malfi assumes a defensive stance, standing back-to-back with Elvis and draws forth her lance from the substance of her own body. Her "armor" shifts and flows, thickening in the front and thinning in the back. She's ready to face the Miniblins -- and at least she can keep them at a distance, for her lance is longer than their pitchforks! She gets jabbystabby, and some of them fall before her. Unfortunately, the party is still outnumbered, which might give the Miniblins the advantage...

DG: Malfi has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Mobile Miniblins.
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

With a flutter of little glowing red wings, the Neriahfly - really looking from a distance like a tiny glowing red orb with wings - zips towards one of the goblins and floats around it.

"WATCH OUT," she squeaks. She continues to bob around one of the creatures, circling it a few times.

It takes a swing at her. The pitchfork passes through the illusory Neriahsprite.

"HEY," the Neriahsprite chirps at the goblin, buzzing around to the other side. The goblin hisses something and keeps trying to swat the fairy, but every swat passes through.

"WATCH OUT," the illusory Neriah chirps again.

From several miles away, the real Neriah, in the midst of holding up her far-talk spell, just grins like an idiot.

<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

        Yarobeleedt jealously clutches his Stare Roe toy close, because only he gets to destroy it. He covets it only so that he can have a taste of what it's like to destroy a hated effigy of a Guardian! (Never mind that this particular one - the effigy, not so much the Guardian - is... wildly unpopular, yes.)
        'HEY' Yaro jumps and hides underneath himself as the tiny annoying things laugh and bounce around.
        'WATCH OUT' Yarobeleedt shrieks and goes up the walls as he tries to get away from the sprite of red unlight flitting about and giving helpful pointers on where to focus their Z-targeting.
        Guess what gets kicked around?
       *squeak*squeak*squeak*
        Everything is terrible.

DG: Yarobeleedt has used its Tool Toy Guardian toward its party's challenge, Mobile Miniblins.
<Pose Tracker> Elvis has posed.

While the bats cannot really harm Elvis, ther incessant squeaking along with Yaro's toy annoying him to the point that he just holds his head. The worst part is at one point they bleed together so well it is hard to tell the squeaks apart.

"Okay they are gone! We can go!" The man just grimmaces as it looks at the butterfly. THAT DIDNT HELP.

A little way forward, and they find another large chamber, shaped in a familiar manner. "I would say it is an ancient auditorium, with the way it is shaped, it could project ones voice quite well. Not sure what the rest of this is for though," he comments toward the barricades and torches on torchstands. "Hum."

Still burning torches. "..."

Not magical burning torches. "Uh oh."

The man readies for combat, falling in to place with Malfi. He quickly wraps his hands in his synthetic wraps, and readies for combat! "We can see them!!!" Elvis near screeches at Neriah, almost getting walloped himself by once again, losing attention.

AND THEN THE SQUEAKING STARTS

WHY DOES HE GO ON THESE TRIPS

WHY

Elvis jsut starts swinging wildly at this point, hopefully people aren't in the way.

DG: Elvis has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Mobile Miniblins.
===================<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils *>====================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Mobile Miniblins *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 This chamber yawns wide before you, a great dome with ancient, low, stone     
 barricades nd high torches casting light through the gloom. No grates slam    
 in place over the doors, and no clear enemy approaches. That is, until you    
 are in the thick of the tangle of barricades, torch stands and other          
 obstacles, at which point, at a point in the room behind the group where      
 nobody was looking, you hear an impish, clicking giggle.                      
                                                                               
 And when you look there, you see something like two-dozen mouse-toothed       
 goblins with pitchforks, who cackle delightedly and suddenly all scamper      
 toward you with killing intent! How are you with combat in a crowded          
 environment!?                                                                 
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound====================================================
==============<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils - Round 5 *>===============
========================< Results - Mobile Miniblins >========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ambrosius                           50 --(20)--> 70                Fail
Mist Canister                       1   Combat  Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Malfi                               45 --(20)--> 65                Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yarobeleedt                         35 --(20)--> 55                Fail
Toy Guardian                        2   Combat  Effects: Embolden             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elvis                               50 --(15)--> 65                Pass
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Ambrosius                   65 --(10)--> 75                Fail
Conditions: Fright(1)|Wound(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Embolden(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Ambrosius has failed this challenge! The party gained 10 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

There's a lot of these little guys. In fact, there almost seems to be...an endless amount of them? Every one they defeat seems to be replaced by two more. And if that's not bad enough, partway through the fight, the 'nah, neh neh' and 'da nah' chittering is joined by that horrible, familiar*squeak*squeak*squeaking and Yarobeleedt's shrieks. Things get hectic...

And then, Elvis starts swinging recklessly.

It's massacare.

Barricades are shattered.

Miniblins are flattened comically against the ground.

Ambrosius gets sent flying to the far side of the dome.

Malfi might need to duck.

And then, finally, after a battle that seems to last forever but was only a few minutes long, the room finally goes quiet.

In the end, the only thing left standing is Elvis himself. ...And the fairy Neriah, by virtue of flying safely out of range.

"...Eeexcellent work, Seeentinel..." Ambrosius says, pulling himself out of debris. If it was anyone else, this could probably be viewed as sarcasm.

DG: Yarobeleedt has drawn a new Challenge.
========================================<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils *>=========================================
========================================<* CHALLENGE - A Door With A BIG Lock *>========================================
|Type: Climax      |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 This next chamber terminates in a massive door in gold and red. Although the  
 colors and materials seem like the chambers of a king, the door is also       
 blocked up and barricaded as though to keep something terrible inside.        
                                                                               
 There's no knocker, no magic puzzle: Just a single great big keyhole. You'll  
 need to find it somewhere else in the dungeon.                                
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust==================================================
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

        Yarobeleedt runs away with his thing to destroy that he'll never be able to in his hands ahead of the group. He's had his fill of all these weird creatures. Where's the glory?! That's when he sees it. A big, great red door gilded in gold, so locked tight as though whatever's in there is not something anyone wants to see get out, ever.
        "Fufufu," Yarobeleedt rubs his hands together with a wet squelching with the occasional hot spark from scraping. "Out I will not go? Out with out! Not in with out, not out with in??" He tries to squeeze himself in through the lock that seems big enough for him to slimily wriggle through.
        He doesn't. He gets stuck. He violently flails, shrieks once again being obscured. ...Is he really screeching because he's stuck? He seems to be in a hurry to pull himself right back out, but can't.
        There's a few more pots here, and some side paths that lead elsewhere, but one thing's for sure - they don't have the key, and Yarobeleedt is not key. (He's not key to anything ever.) Maybe they can find a key elsewhere.
        Or a battering ram.
        Or throw pots at him.

DG: Yarobeleedt has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward its party's challenge, A Door With A BIG Lock.
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

The little Neriah-fairy illusion zips back towards Yarobeleedt, floating by him.

"Aw, Mr. Garbles," she says softly.

And then she vanishes with a sudden gasp and a little flicker of light.

        ~8~

Miles away, the real Neriah is suddenly interrupted by a flutter of dark wings. "I return with news, dread priestess," rasps a large, shaggy crow as it settles to a branch near the place where Neriah stands, in a small forest clearing somewhere in one of the few parts of Ignas where a forest can be said to exist.

The woman in the red robe pushes her hood back, shaking her long, dark curls out around her face. A part of her wants to go back to weaving that illusion. But this news is important. "Speak, Yvain," she says quietly.

The crow inclines its head steeply before hopping down from the branch.

It doesn't make it to the ground in its current form. With a shimmer of shadow, the crow shifts, and the feet that touch the ground are booted ones. The man standing in front of Neriah is old, lean, sharp-featured and with keen, intent eyes and a long nose like a corvid's bill. "There is a place in the mountains leagues to the north of here. Few would dare go there, of course... its current inhabitant has, ah... rather made it uninviting. But it is isolated and large enough for your purposes."

A little smile curves across Neriah's face. "When we're done here, show me where it is. I may have to pay the homeowner a visit."

<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

Malfi makes a point of scanning one of the dead Miniblins, and possibly stuffing the corpse into her backpack if it's small enough. It would be good for dissection later. In the ornate room she moves to examine the keyhole closely, peering inside (after checking for traps) and experimentally trying to shapeshift her left hand and arm into a makeshift key. It's risky -- who knows what other traps might be waiting! -- but worth it.

DG: Malfi has used her Tool Portable Scanner toward her party's challenge, A Door With A BIG Lock.
<Pose Tracker> Elvis has posed.

There is nothing but fists and magicked earth flying for a good bit. Then the dust settles, and Elvis sits there, huffing, eyes bulging, gritting his teeth. He slowly calms down. "OKAY. Are we done here? I think we are here, let's proceed please," he says the last word strained.

"Did I hit anyone? Ambrosius? Sorry. I just... let's just go," he says, walking onward.

This was awkward.

At least the squeaking stopped.

The party comes to a massive door. "Typical," he comments, giving it a once-over as they approach. "Whatever is here is held behind a massive door." A closer inspection has the man shaking his head. "Pretty sure it is magically sealed, breaking it down won't work." The man moves to look at the keyhole, but-- "Hey! What are you--" Yaro appears to have wedged himself in to the keyhole. Great, how will I... huh."

The Sentinel produces a massive tome from a satchel, ironbound and full of information. "Ive... seen this style of keyhole before. I wonder..." A few casual page-flips and the book is shut. "It is an old multi-tooth prong latch. Just... giant." A look to Malfi and Yaro. "Can either of you shapeshift in to a key with three teeth on it? You should be able to feel your way in and align the release mechanism."

Malfi is already on the case. "Just feel out the releases and try to get them even-- though I wouldn't be surprised if you have done this before with that kind of power."

It would be incredibly useful. "Can you feel the working parts in there?" Elvis asks Yaro. "We should... probably get out out of there."

"Where did..." he asks, looking for Neriah's butterfly form. Huh. Gone. Maybe she got bored. Where was she, anyway...?

DG: Elvis has used his Tool Copious Research Notes toward his party's challenge, A Door With A BIG Lock.
<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

Once Ambrosius is fully recovered, he joins the others in the next room, where they're considering a massive keyhole. Ambrosius observes it curiously, looking it over for any signs of a puzzle or release mechanism.

...No such thing appears to be forthcoming. And Yarobeleedt's gone and gotten himself stuck in the lock. Ambrosius frowns, then looks toward Elvis as he analyzes the keyhole using his notes to figure out exactly what kind of key they'll need to progress.

"Hm...I see..." He murmurs. Then looks away.

"I shall go see...if I cannot find the proper key..." He states, then heads off on his own. That way, if the shapeshifting turns out to not be enough, they'll at least be covered in that respect.

DG: Ambrosius has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, A Door With A BIG Lock.
========================================<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils *>=========================================
========================================<* CHALLENGE - A Door With A BIG Lock *>========================================
|Type: Climax      |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 This next chamber terminates in a massive door in gold and red. Although the  
 colors and materials seem like the chambers of a king, the door is also       
 blocked up and barricaded as though to keep something terrible inside.        
                                                                               
 There's no knocker, no magic puzzle: Just a single great big keyhole. You'll  
 need to find it somewhere else in the dungeon.                                
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust==================================================
===================================<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils - Round 6 *>====================================
==========================================< Results - A Door With A BIG Lock >==========================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ambrosius                           70 --(0)--> 70                 Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Malfi                               65 --(0)--> 65                 Pass
Portable Scanner                    2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yarobeleedt                         55 --(0)--> 55                 Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elvis                               65 --(0)--> 65                 Pass
Copious Research Notes              2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
-------------------------------------------------------< Party >--------------------------------------------------------
Leader: Ambrosius                   75 --(0)--> 75                 Pass
Conditions: Exhaust(1)
Effects: Enlighten(1)
===================================================< Dream Chasers >====================================================
DG: The party led by Ambrosius has passed this challenge! The party gained 0 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

        Malfi and Elvis make some very exciting archaeological breakthroughs, though the initial goal is not met. Structurally it seems like it should behave as the two of them predict from taking a look at the visible mechanisms from Malfi's scanner, but it doesn't - no matter how they politely manipulate Yarobeleedt (or have Malfi try to turn part of herself into the proper key). Something else is involved in keeping this thing locked. Fascinating! Everyone learns something, except for Yarobeleedt, who will probably do this again some day and not be attended to by two studious minds.
        Ambrosius takes a more adventurous route, and what he finds is curious. The next few rooms seem primed to his abilities - and only his abilities - using his tools in challenging but creative ways that seem like nobody else would ever be able to resolve. It's convenient, in one sense, but also weird and offputting because that's just one step off from the whole section of the ruin being some sort of stalker shrine for his capabilities... but at the end there's a very large key with a threatening, leering visage and horns upon it. It's so large that when he brings it back, he'll need help getting it hefted and put into the lock.
        By first battering Yarobeleedt through it, and then opening it up normally. The door opens, and a horrid miasma fills the room. This may be Yarobeleedt-originated, maybe. It's worth further scientific study (NO IT IS NOT).

DG: Yarobeleedt has drawn a new Challenge.
========================================<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils *>=========================================
==================================<* CHALLENGE - Parasitic Armored Arachnid: Gohma *>===================================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 The great double-doors open up into a huge cavern. The ceiling disappears     
 into darkness above. There's a skittering, clacking sound from those          
 shadows, before a tremendous creature, a spider bigger than most homes on     
 Ignas flips down from the ceiling and SLAMS into the dirt before you,         
 shrieking. A single huge eye gleams from between two massive shielded arms,   
 which move with nimbleness to block any attack on that central eye. Its       
 carapace in yellow and green glistens, before it jabs forward with a massive  
 claw! You'll have to hold those shields down somehow before your attacks      
 will do any damage at all!                                                    
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

        Beyond the door, further into the caverns, it is darkness. There might be a ceiling above, one's voice may echo to suggest such, but it cannot be seen. It's spooky and offputting, even to people of logic and analysis, and especially so to Yarobeleedt who looks especially wrung out.
        That's before the skittering above, the heavy clacking noises. What's there? There's no shapes that can be seen, at first, even with advanced sight tools at one's disposal. They want their presence to be known, but to truly be beholden... that's of their decree, and none other.
        They don't have to wait long, as a great huge spider that's larger than a human dwelling causes the entire ground to shake underneath it. The shriek is deafening.
 
                Parasitic Armored Arachnid
                                GOHMA
 
        A big, bioluminescent flashing eye is close to being the only lighting here aside from some sparse torches, which becomes thinner until it is a vertical thin line-- oh, because it's hoisting two shielded arms up in front of it for cover, able to move them much more swiftly than the mass may let on.
        Its carapace shines a sickly yellow and green as a tell for rapid, rock-shattering strikes with massive claw blows. Its defense may be impregnable. What can they hope to do?!
        If you are Yarobeleedt, it's 'somehow get stuck on one of these shields' and maybe 'pray that it is so disgusted by this that it won't want to have this shield any more.' It is, at bare minimum, disgusted enough that it is trying to slam this ochre slimy bug-snake-thing against the wall a few times, giving fleeting openings.

DG: Yarobeleedt has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward its party's challenge, Parasitic Armored Arachnid: Gohma.
<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

Malfi scans the spider if she has time, then puts her scanner away and bounds forward to try to pin down one of the creature's arms. Unfortunately she can't pin*and* attack. She'll have to depend on her teammates for that. And it would be helpful if someone else would get the other arm!

DG: Malfi has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Parasitic Armored Arachnid: Gohma.
<Pose Tracker> Elvis has posed.

"Hrn..." Elvis lets out, as the Metal Demon's attempts to manipulate the lock fail. "It could be attuned to the key, being a two-part lock." The man seems at a loss. His research can't help in that case. He knows how to control raw elements, but not something so fine as the magics involved in sealing the door. Though it is made of stone...

During his pondering, Ambrosius returns with a key! "Quite perceptive, Ambrosius! Well done!" he says to his fellow Veruni.

Though the key might jam some due to lingering goop, it does finally turn! "O-Oh I wonder what is inside...!" he says, rubbing his hands together. Ancient texts, relics of the past, a rare item part of a very lengthy artifact quest chain...?!

Instead the party is greeting by a massive cavern. "We better fan out if we are going to find anyth--"

THUD.

"Okay, that is big." Giant spider with armored sections was not what he expected. "Sooooo... guest we gotta deal with it!!!" A readying of those wraps again, and Elvis flies at one of the arms. "I'll get a shield! Someone go for some damage!"

Of course, when most think of 'going for a shield' they think of tying it up, immobiliziing it. Nah, Elvis is gonna break it off. Straight up. Or at least try to. He has broken stronger things before.

How hard could this be?

(famous last words)

DG: Elvis has used his Tool PALB-3106 Power Gloves toward his party's challenge, Parasitic Armored Arachnid: Gohma.
<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

"Thank you, Seeentinel..." Ambrosius replies with a polite bow of his head.

The door opens into darkness.

"...On your guard." Ambrosius states, stepping inside. He watches carefully for signs of danger...and it appears above - a skittering and a clacking. He tenses...then jumps backward reflexively as a massive armored arachnid drops from the ceiling with a shriek.

Indeed, they would have to deal with it.

"Very well." He states. He reaches into his poncho, drawing out a slender, metallic device. On closer inspection, it's Veritas Varia, adapted into a close-range weapon.

He focuses his Ether into it and a dangerously-spinning blade of high-pressure water emerges from the other end.

As Elvis and Malfi move to pin the shielded arms Ambrosius charges in from the front, swinging his weapon twice at that monstrous eye.

DG: Ambrosius has used his Tool Aqua Cutter toward his party's challenge, Parasitic Armored Arachnid: Gohma.
========================================<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils *>=========================================
==================================<* CHALLENGE - Parasitic Armored Arachnid: Gohma *>===================================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 The great double-doors open up into a huge cavern. The ceiling disappears     
 into darkness above. There's a skittering, clacking sound from those          
 shadows, before a tremendous creature, a spider bigger than most homes on     
 Ignas flips down from the ceiling and SLAMS into the dirt before you,         
 shrieking. A single huge eye gleams from between two massive shielded arms,   
 which move with nimbleness to block any attack on that central eye. Its       
 carapace in yellow and green glistens, before it jabs forward with a massive  
 claw! You'll have to hold those shields down somehow before your attacks      
 will do any damage at all!                                                    
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken===================================================
===================================<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils - Round 7 *>====================================
====================================< Results - Parasitic Armored Arachnid: Gohma >=====================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ambrosius                           70 --(0)--> 70                 Pass
Aqua Cutter                         3   Brute   Effects: Fanfare              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Malfi                               65 --(5)--> 70                 Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yarobeleedt                         55 --(0)--> 55                 Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elvis                               65 --(0)--> 65                 Pass
PALB-3106 Power Gloves              3   Brute   Effects: Fanfare              
-------------------------------------------------------< Party >--------------------------------------------------------
Leader: Ambrosius                   75 --(35)--> 110               Pass
Conditions: Weaken(2)
Effects: 
===================================================< Dream Chasers >====================================================
DG: You have overcome the dungeon's trials! This run is a success!
DG: The party led by Ambrosius has successfully explored Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils!
========================================<* Binding Depths of Serpent's Coils *>=========================================
========================================<* CHALLENGE - Extremely Good Bottle *>=========================================
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 Gohma screams one last time before light pierces it from within. Bursting     
 rays rip out of the creature, again and again, some inner core going wild     
 before the whole creature finally shrieks and blows apart into gouts of       
 harmless smoke.                                                               
                                                                               
 As you explore the chambers nearby, you find a number of fallen bottles of    
 extremely hardy make. Matching corks are strewn about nearby as well. They    
 don't appear obviously magical, but the ancient civilizations were known for  
 their alchemy, so who knows what wonders they may be capable of? Perhaps a    
 little short of flashy, but a good bottle is a Drifter's best friend, you     
 know.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Especially as a few tests reveal that for practical purposes these glass      
 bottles are unbreakable and will hold just about anything that can't kill     
 you just by proximity.                                                        
=Dungeon Conditions: Treasure=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

        The great arachnid is outmatched in sheer brute strength by Elvis alone. Malfi doesn't quite reach those lofty heights, but she has 'help' because a splattered-looking Yarobeleedt (he's fine, trust us) is still stuck to the other shield and Gohma - a creature beyond rational thought, a thing of coalesced terror and wrongness - is absolutely disgusted by this. It's the opening Ambrosius needs to go in there and slice it open with Veruni waterjet tech, and he is bathed in light that starts to pierce it from deep inside. That's not good--
        Gohma explodes. Everyone is washed over through light that is relieving, in so much that it is an indicator that whatever this creature is, it is gone now. In its wake, smoke... nothing in which to take home as a sample for scientific cataloguing.
        Yarobeleedt plops down next to a big red heart-shaped thing... eww, he touched it! It floats up into the air and disappears into the ether, as though it too has decided that this is far too gross and is peacing out of existence. Yarobeleedt looks a whole lot healthier, though.
        Forget him - up ahead in the following chamber, there's a number of small bulbous bottles that look like they've fallen from shelves and tables onto a cold rock-hard floor... without cracks or damage? If they pick them up and drop them, over and over, they don't break. (They don't bounce, though, shame.)
        They all have matching corks, though some are strewn about the room based on whatever force toppled them to start with.
        

<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

Malfi scoops up as many bottles and corks as she can carry, placing them in her backpack and pouches. They'll really come in handy for samples once they've been cleaned and sanitized! Pity there's nothing left of the house-sized spider... At least she has the Miniblin to study! Her burns have fully healed now, and Malfi is feeling rather triumphant. The party emerges victorious, after a rocky start...

<Pose Tracker> Elvis has posed.

It felt good to apply some raw strength after traversing this perilous area of the Serpent's Coils. Why was it separated like this? Was it to trap this creature? Or is it another complex entirely whose typical entry was lost to time and the elements?

One shield arm just gets obliterated by a full force punch, with Elvis catching himself on the landing, and looking up to the others whose combined effort rends the creature undone. It disappears in a strange way-- smoke, and a flash of light. "Was that... Malevolence? No, it was different. Kinda like that lagoon. Hum."

The Veruni investigates the room, and finds something everyone is looking at. Bottles! "Huh, these have withstood the test of time down here, and even around a giant greature. I wonder..."

The man attempts to apply some pressure with a hand. A bit, then more, then a bit more than that. No cracks, no signs of giving. "These are... enchanted? Or something else. Putting some of my strength in to the doesn't break them. Impressive."

Elvis proceeds to round up three for his own personal use. "I'd suggest everyone grab some, they could be quite helpful."

<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

The blade of water evaporates and Ambrosius turns away from the arachnid as light begins to emit from it. He returns Veritas Varia to the depths of his poncho...and exactly as he does so, Gohma explodes.

He doesn't look.

The others seemed to be all right, so with a nod he takes to examining the area. A brief analysis reveals...bottles! Not just any bottles, they're rather durable ones, too.

"Faaascinating..." Ambrosius murmurs, claiming a couple for himself. One to display, and one to use. As appropriate!

"I have learned much here..." He comments.